“Then Phillip began with that very passage of scripture, and told him the good news about Jesus ” Acts 8:35
This is a well known scripture to those familiar with the Word of God. It is of course the story of the Ethiopian eunuch. It is but another example from the scriptures of how God is concerned with the individual and how he can direct the faithful servant of God to the right individual at the right time. It is interesting that the angel of the Lord passed on the responsibility of witnessing to Phillip and did not do it himself. But as Warren Wiersbe rightly points out – angels have never experienced the Grace of God and therefore can never know what it means to be saved. The Lord passed on that responsibility to Phillip and he passes it on to you and to me what a responsibility it is. Fortunately, this Ministry allows me many opportunities to both leave the Word of God and to share its message with others when those opportunities arise.
And so it was one day when I visited a vessel the Western Callao I met Jed the Mess Man.
He was keen to take some scriptures and there he sat reading the introduction to John’s gospel.
So I let him read it for several minutes and then asked him did he understand what he was reading? Being Filipino he had a certain grasp of what God’s word had to say. But I then had a good opportunity of sharing perhaps more fully what it means to believe the gospel. He listened attentively as I left him with the choice that he faced, and the cost involved in being a follower of Jesus. He explained that he did not feel that it was necessary to go to Church to believe.
While I said that it was possible to do this – I wanted to explain to him what the Church was and the importance of meeting with other Christians on a regular basis. Again, like the story of Ethiopian Eunuch this man will go off to new places and I possibly will never meet him again. But I am thankful to God that he placed me in that position where I was able to share the message of hope that has gone out into all the World.
Like life in general good and happy news are often tinged with sad and distressing news. And so it was that we heard of a seafarer feared lost overboard in Rosario Port in Argentina at the end of June. Anthony Peligrino 3rd Mate has now been missing for well over a month now and the family are rightly distressed and upset.
I had met Anthony back in January when his ship the Nord Venture visited us here in Liverpool. Anthony loved the Lord and was attending a fellowship linked to the late Watchman Nee. When I looked back on my journal for meeting Anthony in January. I had written that I had reminded him that he was where God had placed him to be his witness on board the ship. Sometimes, – the Lord’s ways are past finding out – this is a hard thing please continue to pray for Anthony and his family. I have been in touch with his sister in Singapore for regular updates.
What a great joy when we get confirmation of young seafarers who we have known going on with God. And of others who are mature in the faith teaching the Word of God and seeing others putting their faith in Jesus.
John who was with us at Christmas time came to our house group – he sent me a Video of his recent baptism at a summer retreat. He also informed us that his sister had been with him at the retreat too and that she also had put her faith in the Lord Jesus which had so encouraged him.
I had also resourced my good friend and dear brother Mario Albay with the Emmaus Bible courses ‘What the Bible teaches’ And from this he had been conducting studies with two crew mates Harvey and Rey .
From these studies Mario had reported that his two friends had both become Christians. Which was a great encouragement for him, and a blessing to me to be able to play a small part in the process. I have since sent him further studies to continue their discipleship and growth in the Christian faith.
Unusually, there were five ships in the small port of Garston so it was a busy day. I had left a number of resources on all of these ships but it was all very frustrating sometimes with language barriers and indifference and interest only in Internet and Telephone cards. Until I came to the Wilson Breman with Russian and Ukrainian crew I thought that I was going down the same route – until I met the Chief Engineer Vasiliy
He had also problems with his internet on his tablet so I asked (reluctantly I might add feeling quite drained) could I help. But it led to an invitation for a drink of tea and good conversation and talking about family etc.
Also about our jobs and why we did it, my faith and calling and eventually to give him a Bible which he was so pleased to get.
I was grateful to God for this small mercy in what seemed a pretty unfruitful day.